tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN February 19, 2015 3:30am-5:31am EST
i don't know what that mean. so, we have to decide what will the united states will play. we do know this, when we disengage, when we pull back bad things happen. so, we have to decide our role in the world. we have to decide whether we are willing to appropriate the kind of dollars necessary to fulfill that role, or we are going to sit back and see events take place in which we have very little influence. katherine: thank you. on this term of disengagement, and reengagement, let's talk a little bit about nato. you came back from munich. nato would be facing a difficult year with a drawback from afghanistan in a reassessment of what the nato alliance means. in some ways, the ongoing aggression from russia has put the role of the nato mission in very clear relief. what do you see forward as the path for nato given the current challenges for
security in europe, which i do not think many people saw coming last year at all? secretary cohen: i think nato continues to be the most important military/political organization in history. it has been more political recently, but it is a hybrid institution. once again, i am not particularly encouraged by what i have seen to date. rudy and i have talked about burden-sharing. this is a constant theme. there is an inadequate level of sharing by our european friends. that has been most evident certainly during the libyan mission. the budgets of the europeans continue to go down. there has been a pledge, most recently, to 2% of gdp over the next 10 years. i think that is going to be difficult, if not impossible, for a number of members to achieve that. i'm not sure there is the political will to achieve that so the united states, initially,
with nato, we picked up 50% of the burden with nato. the other members of the alliance picked up the other 50%. now it is 75/25. soon it will be 80/20. that is not sustainable. we will have to try to persuade the europeans they have to do more, but they have to see it in their self-interest, and what russia is doing might help to concentrate the mind wonderfully that there is still a threat to them. that, coupled with what is taking place with the euro greece, and other nations, is really going to focus their attention on what they need to do to have a whole, free, and secure europe. that has been the goal. there seems to be some erosion at the edges on that. katherine: the 2% standard has long been a goal, and more of a theory than a practice.
one of the issues the u.s. has faced in europe, and also around the world, has been keeping engagement with our allies and partners strong, and particularly in the situation with the ukraine and russia now in eastern europe, there is a lot of talk about how strong the sanctions against russia will be, how long we can keep the financial sanctions intact, whether russia is trying to peel off some of the less-committed european allies. what are your impressions, having just come back from munich, on the political as well as the military engagement on the european side? secretary cohen: chancellor merkel gave a speech a week or two ago, and said negotiations with russia are the only solutions. providing arms to the ukrainian government would not be productive. that did not sit well with the american delegation, and it was the largest american delegation
in the years that i have been going to the munich security conference, which has been some 35 years now. most of the american delegation reacted to that saying when you do not send arms, putin's forces continue to attack, so if people are willing to fight and die shouldn't they be given some weaponry defensive in nature to fight and die with? that does not seem to be the german position, nor that of the europeans, so i do not see the europeans contributing that much other than continuing to support sanctions, possibly -- i say possibly -- intensifying them, but i do not see that momentum. katherine: given the recent setbacks for ukrainian forces in the east, would you support arming the ukrainians? secretary cohen: i want. -- i would. right now they are fighting tanks with rifles, not a fair opportunity to defend their interests. president putin, notwithstanding, he will
continue to destabilize, certainly the eastern part of the ukraine, and make it virtually impossible for the ukrainians to be able to function effectively as a government, and serve as a disincentive for any consideration to the ukraine joining the eu. this is something lindsey graham made clear during the conference. he said the europeans have an obligation here. they were the ones that were encouraging the ukraine to come and join the eu. when the ukrainians picked that up up and started moving toward the eu, that is when the russians started to help destabilize the country. so, the europeans, at this point, have, at least, a moral obligation to help those they encouraged to move toward them help defend themselves. katherine: it seems a lot of foreign policy right now is trying to manage or prevent bad situations from getting worse.
there is not a terribly clear path forward in the ukraine and whether russia will continue to escalate and up the ante, but a lot of regions around the world, in northwest africa with boko haram, and in the broader middle east, particularly with the cancer of isis, is a very tough situation for the u.s.. we have tried to harm the moderate rebels. it has been difficult to get anything up and on the ground. the cia has had a program. the pentagon is just setting there's up now. we are in an awkward situation where there not a lot we can do ourselves and we are also trying to manage a somewhat fragile coalition. you have also had a lot of experience in the 1990's -- in kosovo, not only in making the call to intervene, and how, when, and where to do so, but also in managing partners that. what lessons do you see from your kosovo experience now in the middle east?
secretary cohen: well, i probably should invoke "one should be prudent, and not hesitant." i think we have been to hesitant in terms of how we react in certain scenarios. you mention syria -- did we try to help the rebels? i do not think so. that was a key point. if you go back to when there was resistance to assad, there were two redlines, or i should say at least one pink line and one red line, and the pink line was a sod has to go. he had lost credibility as leader of the syrian people and must go. then we sat back and did what? we did nothing. we did not help those that were desperate to have him go, and then it continued to unravel. we talked about having safe havens. there were no safe havens.
we talked about having no-fly zones. there were no no-fly zones. then came the bright red line about the usage of chemical weapons, and we dithered on that. at first, we said we were going to fire a shot across the bow of the syrians, and the military came back and said wait, we do not do that. we do not fire shots across the bow. are you talking about a military mission? tell us what the mission is, what the follow along is, and that we can talk about the use of military force. we did not do that. instead we rally the american people to say we're going to use force against assad for the use of chemical weapons, and then senator mccain, lindsey graham and others came down on the white house because the white house said it would be a light shot, not a heavy one, and the president assured them it is going to be serious. they came out in front of the white house with the cameras and
said we are with the president. 24 hours after that, they changed their policy -- we are not going to use force. then it got to a debate with the president said maybe i will ask congress for authority. the president did not have to do that. he had the authority to take limited military action, but he will throw the ball to congress, and congress acted predictably and said no thanks, and then the president said even if the congress does not give us authority the president will take action anyway. what kind of a signal are we sending to people under these circumstances? so, we look uncertain -- an uncertain trumpet that we are blowing, and as a result president putin comes in on his white horse, no shirt on, we will bail you out from the weapons, and they did that at no cost. -- at a cost. at a cost because when you draw
a red line, you have to enforce the red line or you use credibility. we lost credibility with those in the region. we lost credibility with uae with the saudi's, with the israelis -- we sent a signal to other adversaries, the russians, that we are not serious when we draw a redline. so, we are paying a penalty for that, so we have emboldened people to say we are not really going to contest you in a military or physical way. we are going to verbally challenge you. we will go for sanctions, but you do not have to worry about us, and i think that is part of the problem we have today in dealing with these particular issues. when you are looking at isis isil, or whatever we are going to call them now -- we are in information war. we are talking about a propaganda war. they, now, are putting out messages to young people who see this as pretty exciting. they are all in black.
they are wearing hoods. they are cutting heads off with their knives. this is video games for a lot of younger people. now they can join a movement. they do not know what will follow the movement, or what the institutions will be, or what their lives will be like, but it is exciting. the people that are putting out an appealing message to these young people who, number one might not have a job, might not be highly educated, but do not see a future where they could have a stake in something is very attractive to them. we have to really up our game in terms of putting out information and contesting that, as well as the spread of the violence. it will be an information war, and a propaganda war if you want to call it more directly what it is, that we are losing in that regard. katherine: you are not the only person to say we should have been more decisive about isis. there is a lot of could have, should have, what would be the right moment, but then if you look at the nato bombing
campaign in libya, libya certainly is no picnic, and had recent strikes with egypt just days ago. what are the lessons there? it seems the use of air power is not so simple after all. secretary cohen: the lesson is, and bob gates forewarned us this was not a country to get involved with as far as military action. that was overruled because of the british and the french insistence that we needed to help them because they were involved. the role is you have to have a clearly defined mission, and rudy can tell you -- and you know this as well as i -- a clearly defined mission that is achievable at a certain cost in blood and treasure, and has an exit. that has to be done before you ever use military force. the notion that you go in, bomb,
and take out gaddafi, what is step two? what will replace gaddafi? unless you have thought it through, you should not take action and this is where i would fault the u.s. we have not had a thought out plan of what comes after the bombs. bullets and bombs -- that takes out people but that is not going to solve a social problem, a political problem. that needs to be done through institution-building, and if you are not prepared to stay long enough to build an institution that provides for a rule of law opposed to a law of rule, it will fail. libya is a failed state. syria is a failed state at this particular point. others are on the verge of it. when you get involved in the military, it always must be at the very last resort, and number two, you have to have a clearly defined mission with a follow on strategy. we don't seem to have that.
katherine: we have a failed state in libya following international action. we have a failed state in syria following international in action, and we have a campaign going on in iraq and syria related to isis, as well as continued, real deja vu efforts to strengthen the iraqi government, how to be a more inclusive government, how to have less sectarian tensions there, but you still have this -- these tangled webs of influence to run and in other areas. secretary cohen: number one, we cannot do it on our own. we still come at this point in time, are the only "superpower," in terms of military capability. there is no peer competitor at this point, but we have learned the limitations of absolute power as such. we have to have a coalition, we have to have other countries see it is in their interest to help
contain the spread of violence in the region and we have to work on a coalition basis. we, i think, made a mistake. number one, i have my own judgment about going into iraq. number two --katherine: which time? secretary cohen: pardon? katherine: which time? secretary cohen: the second time. the first time we took action, the we did not go in. nonetheless, pulling everyone out left a vacuum, and then we had a prime minister who simply wanted to engage in cleaning out the sunnis -- out of the government, out of the military. so, they have a second chance now, a limited opportunity for a second chance to say if you want a country, and you want this to succeed, then you must be inclusive. you must allow the sunnis to play a role in your governance and your military.
absent that, your country cannot survive. so, that is the lesson of iraq. whether you will have this with bodi, whether he will be true to his word and try to be more inclusive leader remains to be seen. i think at this point all we can do is try to hold back the fire that continues to burn. katherine: it seems that one of the lessons is the limitation of america's ability to do everything on their own, and in iraq, we really haven't had the best partner, the most credible partner. it has gone in peaks and valleys. in the region we have not had the best partner. we have a tense relationship with saudi arabia and the relationship with iran is very poor, and the relationship with turkey is more unstable than we would have expected a while ago. how do we engage, not just in a military sense, but in a more broad-spectrum way, bearing in mind the limitations we have
just been speaking about purely military actions? secretary cohen: when i say engagement i don't just mean military engagement, i mean diplomacy, trying to create institutions that will give the rule of law a chance to flourish. it does not come at the end of a bullet or a bomb. it comes with real investment in a country's future. you are not always granted the partners that you like. we have had some that have not been particularly beneficial in terms of their relationship with us, but we have to keep trying. the question is, we can try and say -- look, the middle east that is your problem. we are coming back home. we are going to come back home and nation-build here at home. we have seen a consequence of that. the notion that you could, sort of, retreat to a continental cocoon, and watch the world on -- unfold on msnbc cnn
al-jazeera , all of the networks. fox. it can't happen. anything that happens, it will have an impact. if there continues to be a spread of this instability in the middle east, and that affect the flow of oil coming out of the persian gulf, the arabian gulf -- the answer is yes. does that have an impact on us since we are developing our own resources? well, not directly, but guess what? if the flow of oil is interrupted for any length of time, the world economy is impacted, and when the world economy is impacted our ability to sell goods and services to other countries -- our economy goes down. everything is connected. everything is related. that means we have to have a global vision. that does not mean we have to be putting our military all over the world, and that is the only solution. that means we have to have active diplomacy, active economic investment, and a very strong, capable military to back that up.
unfortunately, we will face a world that will continue to be turbulent. it is going to be unsteady. it will be new institutions that have to be built, new relationships that have to be formed, new institutions in the gulf, for example -- gcc does not have an institution like nato. they never will as an institution like nato, but there has to be more of a common defense capability developed in the gulf area. we are building relationships -- we talk about the pivot to asia, and i think most people would agree that use of pivot was ill-informed, i think, because it suggested we are shifting our focus to asia, where we had been since world war ii. what we are doing is building relationships, strengthening them with australia, a democracy -- with singapore, with the
philippines, with japan, with south korea, with india -- so, we are building these relationships to say that we want to promote the rule of law, so we are investing, economically, politically, militarily. we will have to see how that works in relationship to our relations with china. china sees that effort as trying to contain them, and the truth of the matter is we cannot contain china. it is too big, too strong. it is not our goal to try and contain china, but rather to send a signal that we want china's growing military power -- they are an economic power already -- but they're growing military power to be used for peaceful purposes, integrated into the international rule of law, not for aggressive purposes. can we make that work? we hope so, and that requires strong diplomacy.
it means we have to continue to talk to the chinese. we have to work with them on multiple levels. so, i cannot tell you where the next challenge is going to be tomorrow, or 10 years from now but i do know this -- that we have to make sure that we have a strong and ready military that can respond to the full spectrum of threats, and we have to be willing to pay for it. if we are not, we are going to be relegated to a less influential role in the world, and that could have consequences for our future, and that of our kids and grandkids. so, we have choices to make. katherine: i'd like to pick up on a couple of things you talked about that. first, internationally, and then on the domestic front. i certainly would agree with you that i do not think anyone would dispute we are living in the most global, interconnected, the digital world we have ever had and you mentioned earlier the
success of isis'propaganda campaign in pulling teenagers from the u.s., libya, england, encouraging people to travel to syria. we have interconnected economic and mimetic relationships. at the same time, when the international order continues to be growing more fragile -- the norm of not integrating other states is a little more delicate than it used to be, and we are seemingly running out of ideas on how to tell russia that this violation was actually unacceptable, they are just going to pay the prices we will impose on them, and there is talk given to china in terms of a new model power relations -- that is a phrase that has been used -- but how can we really incentivized china to play by the international norms when they see they have the might to perhaps ignore it? they have the example of russia where they are willing to pay the prices, and on the domestic
front, we are not able to open international institutions like the international monetary fund to make them a little less u.s.-centric. how do we have this space for china and other rising powers like india to play a constructive role in the world order when international norms and organizations seem to be increasingly brittle? secretary cohen: i think the first order of business is to get our house in order. when other countries look at us, i travel the world and to this day i am on the road or in the air almost all of the time. it is becoming more difficult for me to go to another country and say we want you to be like mike. we want you to be like us. we want you to have a democracy. we want you to believe in the rule of law. we want you to have a commercial code. we wanted to have a parliament elected by your people. they say really, you want us to be like you? you cannot make a decision.
you are engaging a dysfunctional system filled with sporadic embolisms. what is going on in your united states where your congress cannot even arrive at a budget and have to face a sequester which is an arbitrary, across-the-board cut -- you are using a butcher knife when you need scalpels, and you want us to be like you? it is harder. if we intend to remain a role model for the rest of the world, we have to get our own house in order, and that means going back to the business of trying to arrive at consensus with the american people, and we do not have that. people on the right. we have people on the left. we do not have many leftover people in the center, and that is where most people in this country live. i like to say it is between the 40 yard lines. you do not play politics in the end zone. you can in the primaries, but
not when you're trying to govern the country. we are a country that is slightly right of center or slightly left of center at any given time in our history, so we have to come back to the center, and we are not there. it is going to be hard for us to persuade other countries to take us seriously because they are looking at our budget. the old axiom that amateurs study policy, and professionals study budgets -- other countries are professionals looking our budgets in terms of how we allocate resources, and really your military needs me to be modernized. do we see that taking place? no. do you mean to say you will continue to have 20% extra infrastructure you are carrying -- you are 20% overweight, but you will not reduce? you have a system where pay scales are higher now than ever before, and your health care costs have gone from when you, mr. secretary cohen, was at $19
billion. it is now closer to 60. how do you sustain that? we have to show this is a vibrant democracy, and we can make decisions, and then we can create a credible basis for going to the chinese to say we are still a strong military power. you do not want to challenge us. or, to india, and say let us work with you. you are a major player and will be a major player on the international scene. they want to know what are we credible? the way things are going right now, we have a credibility gap. that is why i say it is political malfeasance that has been taking place. people are so locked into their ideological spectrum, that they plant the flag in the summit of the right or the cement of the left, and they see that as a
badge of honor, and they degrade the notion that compromise has become synonymous with abject surrender. when that takes place, then what we have is this the generality. we have sclerosis. so, i hope, in the next two years, we will see some change in that. frankly, i am skeptical. we are already now lining up saying? what will 2016 bring us? who will win the republican nomination? is hillary the best candidate? we are not talking about between now and then. a lot is happening in the world, none of it very good for us. i hope we see some real effort made. i talked to my friend john mccain, senator graham, and a few others, among the last of the internationalists saying it is important we had transpacific partnerships, transatlantic investment
partnerships, but i do not see that taking place right now on the hill. i do not see the conversation taking place in the american people. i think what has to happen, as we debate whether we are going to actually appropriate down to the levels below what would trigger the sequester, i think the uniformed military and civilians have to come forward and speak to the american people about what is taking place because most of the american people do not see what has happened to "readiness." readiness is key. we have had wings of aircraft sitting idle with pilot not flying because of the sequester. what does that mean? it means those pilots call to action insider -- syria, libya and every -- they are not ready to report for duty. we cannot report for duty, because we are not ready. that has been taking place, and
if that continues you will see an erosion of our capability and credibility. we have to make the case and say here are the choices -- if you want to play a leading role, and we, for the most part, right now, are the only ones who can play this role. if you want to play a leading role in trying to shape events rather than becoming hostage to them, then this is what we must do. if we are unwilling to invest in the future, unwilling to make sacrifices now in order to achieve that, then you are consigning our kids to a future which is going to be much more turbulent, and a world in which we will have much less influence. that message has to go out, and it has to go out constantly, because the american people do not see that, and we have actually masked that. we have the overseas contingency account. we are going to plus that up by
about $50 billion. i would venture we will plus it up by even more. it is a supplemental. we will increase the supplemental because they are not under the cap. they are outside of the cap. it is the wrong way to do it. increasing the supplemental. someone would describe that as gas money. that is gas money to keep everything running, but it does not invest in the future for research, technology innovation, education -- we're not procuring and investing for the future. we are just paying for running everything as it is. it is the wrong thing to do, but i suspect we will see an increase in the supplemental or what they call the oco account. we have to get back to fundamentals. that is what it comes down to. are we prepared to do what made us strong in the first place? what made us strong? we have rights, duties obligations we have to sacrifice in order to continue
to be strong. unless we continue to do that, we will play a secondary role. katherine: let's pick up on the theme of bipartisanship. you are right on what will happen with the oco funds, the easiest get out of jail free card. the republicans are split, democrats do not see benefit to cover my thing with republicans, and obama has got a lot of flack during his first six years of his presidency for waiting for their evidence to become uncompromised, and sending him that no one has really met him halfway, and when they had tried to meet him halfway, the more fringe parts of the party have cratered that approach. you are seeing it now in the defense budget with a debate about whether or not they will have any sequester relief.
you also see that in a nondefense budget, where there is a real lack of investment in our infrastructure, investment in our education, investment in our diplomatic missions abroad and you are using ebola as a scare tactic to try to fund nih, where we should have been funding it earlier. calling for bipartisanship is easy. how do we get to bipartisanship? before you were in the pentagon you had a long and distinguished career on the house and senate side. is there a path forward for bipartisanship for the sequester and for the country, world will we be locked into this "2016 -- let's put everything on hold while we fight political battles?" how do we get from a to b? secretary cohen: i have mixed emotions. american people like to celebrate the fact that we like divided government. we have a divided structure.
the house is supposed to check the senate. the senate checks the house. the white house checks the congress. the supreme court checks everybody. what i like to say is everyone is in check, but nobody is in charge. nobody is in charge. so, i have come to the conclusion, and it is not an easy one -- i would rather have one party run everything for four years, even though that is not always an appetizing thought to me, but for a variety of reasons, but say ok you have four years. republicans, you are in charge. you have the white house, the congress -- do what you will do for the next four years and see where that takes us, or democrats, you be in charge, but i do not see us getting to the bipartisan policies we had in the past when i first went to the senate, where you can be a statesman for four years, run for office the next two years. you are running for office every day, and the senate is no
different than the house anymore because you are out there requesting money, and money is the most corrupting thing, i think, in terms people spending time raising money for the next campaign. it never stops. so, i see a number of people that i could point to on both the democratic side and the republican side and cities are reasonable minded men and women that could come together. you have to watch the word. you cannot call it compromise. compromise has been poll tested. it is weak. it is unprincipled. it is mushy. we want people that are strong and planted to the cement. so, we say how about searching for common ground? that is ok. finding people willing to search for common ground -- i do not see much of an effort underway as a body on the house and the senate, and i think each party will go to its
base. for the next year and a half we will see more of the same. i would like to say it is not going to be the case. i hope it won't be, but i do not see any evidence that it is going to change. my hope for 2016 is that i would like to see someone in charge. i would like to have a policy that we could all get behind or at least a majority could get behind -- to have a consensus on what our role is going to be in the world, what we have to appropriate in terms of achieving that. if it is going to be a smaller military, it has to be more capable military. if it is going to be a more capable military, we will have to be able to do less because you cannot stretch a smaller number of people to more and more regions, more and more operations. so, we have to have a strategy backed up by a capability, and right now i am not sure what the strategy is, and i know the capability is eroding. i would like to see someone in charge.
my preference would be to have the scoop jacksons of the world, the howard bakers of the world, others that have been involved -- i would like to see the return of that kind of statesmanship coming to the middle saying this is the kind of policy that we need for our country to be successful when helping to make the world more stable, and if we are not the ones doing it, who will be? who do we hand it off to? are we handing it off to china? are they ready for the global responsibility? do we want russia to set the agenda? with the europeans? i do not think so. india, at some point? not now. who is going to do it if not us? that is the mission we have to convey. i would like to see it
bipartisan. i am skeptical. if not, let one party reign for four years. katherine: to offset reform, or time travel -- secretary cohen: i have always said if democrats have a good idea, follow it, if republicans have a good idea, let's support that, but let's stop seeing each other as the enemy. it must be squashed. what is in our core interest? what is the interest of the united states as a leading force for stability throughout the world? if we are unwilling to adopt that leadership role, we say over to you, over to who? i do not think anyone wants to point to anyone else. we have seen what russia has done controlling gas lines into the ukraine and into europe. how would you like to have them controlling the gas lines in the persian gulf? what would that mean for world stability? i have used this phrase before
-- we cannot be the world's policeman, but we cannot be the prisoner of world events. somewhere between john kennedy's inspirational message that inspired me to get into politics -- let the world know that we will pay any price enduring hardship, oppose any foe, befriend any friend, in order to ensure the success and survival of liberty. ok. that is a time that inspired me and others to carry the american flag. we have gone from that to let's not do stupid stuff. somewhere between let's not do stupid stuff and kennedy's inspirational message, we have to have a policy that reflects a core interest, and if we are not able to come to a consensus on that, that we will see the continued spread of instability
with an inability of the part of anyone to manage it in a way that promotes the rule of law. right now, there is a great debate taking place. is it going to be -- in terms of governance, in terms of, not corporate governance -- that too, in terms of global governance -- are we going to look to the chinese model? in terms of that is how you govern a country in terms of decision-making? are we going to look to the russian, autocratic, klepto autocracy? other countries are flirting with this. the united states does not make decisions. there is a real issue as to whether democracies can govern today. given the role of social media the fracturing of interest groups into multiple pieces, can any country, in a democracy, make decisions for
the good of the whole? that is a real challenge as we look forward to the 21st century. what is going to be the role model that other countries want to aspire to? i would like to have us once again set the standard. we cannot set the standard as long as we are divided at home and divided along party lines, partisan lines, with no willingness to "find common ground," and, to me, that has to be the message. we have to find a way to build this united states of america into what has been in the past to what we wanted to be in the future. katherine: we have talked a lot about the more turbulent and challenging areas in the world. certainly, the domestic american political picture is not rosy. i do not really see a lot of comedy coming back anytime soon. we have trouble spots in europe, the ebola crisis in africa, boko haram is
increasing their scope and their range, but there are still some bright spots where it has been deep engagement with partners. we have had the negotiations about the transpacific ttp. we have had deepening relationships, not just on the defense side, but deepening economic and diplomatic relationships, principally in asia. we have had a revitalization of the nato alliance. where are the moments of hope in terms of american engagement internationally? secretary cohen: let me give you an example. afghanistan. you say well, we have invested a lot in afghanistan. have we made a difference? i was in copenhagen 10 days ago, talking to the university there, and praising the danes for their commitment to security and their commitment to operations in afghanistan. have we made a difference? think about it.
the life expectancy in just the past 15 years has gone from 42 to 62. there were 900,000 students back in 2002 -- 900,000 students, almost all male. today, there are 10 million, 40% of whom are women. teachers have gone from 29,000 to 170,000. again, many of them women. women have started 3000 businesses. there are some -- i think three members in the cabinet are women. out of 268 members of parliament, there are some 60-odd women. so, we have made a difference in the lives of people in terms of our commitment to lifting them into the 21st century. it takes a lot of money. it takes a lot of persistence, and this is the message that we have to remember.
if you are going to get involved in a country, do not think you can just go in and you can remove dictators, but you must have a plan to replace them. that is the international community's obligation. we can show there are successes that can be achieved. india is breaking through from what i would call a malaise, a word used during the carter administration. there has been a malaise in india over the last 5, 6 years. it is different today. the prime minister has made a difference, at least for the moment, because he said we are open for business. we want to revolutionize the way we do business. we are open for business. we want a better relationship with the united states and china and others.
there are some real positive spots you can look to. i want to make sure the united states continues to be the beacon, continues to have a leadership role, so we can say look at us, we think having a democratic form of government, a capitalist form of government -- economy will produce a most prosperity for the most of your people. that is the way forward of the future for your brave and brave new world. we can do that if we get our own house in order. >> on that rallying call, let's open it up to audience questions. we have 10 minutes left. >> one question and a long answer. >> state your name and affiliation. >> i'm andre.
i'm the partner and director for vietnam southeast asia washington dc for the company in detroit. what a wonderful presentation. so many questions. i get one, right? given the role that you envisioned for the military to support the kind of engagement that i think all of us in this room want in you want, do you think we need to bring back conscription? nixon took away the draft, take the steam out of the antiwar movement in vietnam, and now we have fewer than 1% of our population exposed to the horrors of armed combat. with all that entails, do you think we need conscription? >> we need a program of universal service.
that is something that and i've proposed in office. most of the military leaders would tell you that the draft is not desirable, that you have people coming in for two years who don't want to be there. it would not be that productive grade i think what is missing from our lives today is that we don't have a sense of commitment to public service. it could be working in a nursing home, doing anything that has a productive social use. we should stand up, we should promote it, and we should encourage our young people to take two years of their lives and do something for the country.
>> paul, nsi. mr. secretary, you said russia is not going to stop. anton called yesterday for removal of the border. within the next week, the agreement will be signed incorporating south this india with russia -- incorporating with russia. if russia did go further into georgia -- right now it is 35 kilometers between there -- what do you see as their next move? there, possibly transistor in moldova -- how do you see it playing out given there is a lack of leadership? >> moldova is a real issue right now in terms of their future.
the answer as far as non-nato members, i think we have to reinforce and send the signal to reinforce the commitment to the existing nato members, but mainly those in the baltic, and not only make a statement, but make it very clear that if russia moves against any member of nato, there will be a response to the united states. the european red assurance initiative -- we have appropriated something close to $1.7 billion in the last couple of years to increase our training and preparation for the nato members. if russia continues to move aggressively, i think the sanctions have to be much harder. i would certainly look at their banking system as one.
the message has to go to the russians that if you continue to behave in this fashion, you will pay a penalty. in the short term, you may think of that as bolstering your reputation with your people, but you are riding high unpopularity. as oil continues to be at low levels, and the fact we have sanctions against you, at some point in time the people are going to turn against the leader. what does russia offer its people for the future? they build guns and missiles and sell vodka. but what is made in russia that is stamped made in russia that goes around the world? basically weaponry and oil. to the extent that oil is no longer the dominant source of revenue for russia, they will have a real problem. rather than taking the brilliance of the russian people and saying, let's work
in the fields of science and technology and math, and let's build something we can be proud of, they are not doing it. i think putin's popularity will wane over time. will he be sufficiently constrained by a europe that is willing to sacrifice some of its own economic prosperity by insisting on deeper and deeper sanctions as we build more military capability, also sending the signals to the russians, don't think about crossing the red lines which are serious, don't touch any of the nato countries. >> questions. >> thank you very much for an interesting talk. i'm with the danish embassy. i would like to return to the
issue of arming ukrainian forces. how do we prevent that from happening, and what is your view on that? >> could we armed the ukrainians so they can defeat the russian military? no. could we give them sufficient defensive equipment, antitank weapons, share more intelligence, maybe even use some uav's, which the russians are using in ukraine to help make it more costly for the russians? would that tempt them to roll over ukraine? it might. right now they are rolling over them and the ukrainians are fighting with sticks and stones against a heavily armored russian military. i think you could make it more
costly for them and say that more russians are going to be placed at risk, understanding that ukraine, we could never train them fast enough or arm their massive fish only to defeat the russians there. we have to find a way out of this. we don't want to turn this into another cold war. president putin is angry what has happened to the soviet empire. he made that clear at a security conference in munich in 2007, i believe. i was there at the time, and there was a room full of people who had open arms for president putin, the first time in the history of the munich security conference that the russian president had been invited or excepted. the europeans were ready to embrace him.
he came in and gave what i would call a siberian cold message. it blew everyone in the auditorium away. wow, we thought he was coming to say let's work together and he says, no, the worst thing that has happened is the collapse of the soviet empire. he made it clear he felt he had been mistreated or ignored sort of the rodney dangerfield of europe at that point. he could not get any respect and he wanted respect. russia is entitled to respect. this is a big country with a rich history, with great intellectual capital, the russian people. the question is, how does he pull back from what he's doing without looking like he's caving into the west? how does the obama administration make some kind of arrangement with putin that does not look like we are caving in to him? it will require diplomacy.
chancellor merkel is correct that we need to engage the russians in a much more aggressive way, but we also have to couple it with the notion that you can't just run over people. you can't change geographic lines militarily and upset the world order that has existed for the past 60 years or so. >> i think we need to wrap it up there. thanks for a much, secretary. thanks everybody for coming. we appreciate your thoughts on some challenging moments in our history right now. thank you. [captioning performed by
walk-through. and in the attic he saw an envelope with a green seal on it and walked over and noticed the date was an 18 32 document. he removed a single nail from a panel in an upstairs attic room and discovered a trunk and books and portraits stuffed up under the eeves and this was this treasure of dolly madison's things. we've had this story available to the public, displaying different items from time to time but trying to include her life story from her birth to her death in 1849. some of the items that we currently have on display a carved ivory calling card case that has a card enclosed with dolly's signature as well as that of her niece ana. some small cut glass perfume bottle and a pair of silk
slippers that have tiny little ribbons that tie across the arch of her foot. and the two dresses are the reproduction of a silk peach silk gown that she wore early in life and a red velvet gown which is intrigued both that it's lasted and was part of this collection and there's also a legend that is now -- accompanies this dress.
khan. we are pleased that he could make it here through the turbulence and the snow and join us here in washington d.c. and thanks to all of you for making your way here. we are very pleased to host minister khan this morning. he's in town for a series of counter extreme event hosted by the white house and state department. this is an important conversation we are pleased that he's able to be here for. i as many of you know and still relatively new here as the
president of usip and nonetheless i'm looking forward to making one of my first trips to pakistan in the next month or so. pakistan has been a very important area of focus for usip since 2007, working with a variety of partners in pakistan and working on various research projects. we have also convened a number of events where we've been able to bring important leaders both from around the world and from pakistan to discuss critical issues. we've had the privilege of hosting pakistan's prime minister his excellency for his first public event in washington, d.c. after taking office. so i am especially pleased that we are able to do same for minister khan for his public event in washington, d.c. since taking his current position as
minister of the interior in pakistan. this is, however, the sixth time that he has held a ministerial position over his ears as one of pakistan's leading politicians of various portfolios. so we are very pleased to have him here with us today. he of course in addition to the interior he was the minister of minister of science and technology, minister of petroleum and natural resources. so obviously a man of far ranging capabilities. after he has made some remarks, he will be joined on stage by moeed yusef, the director, for a brief conversation. so, those of you in the audience have received question cards, and i invite you to note the questions down and then we can pass them forward and include those in the conversation after the remarks.
with that, i would like to welcome minister khan and invite him up to make some comments for us today. thank you. >> president of the institute, ladies and gentlemen, it is indeed a pleasure for me to be here this morning. at the outset i would like to thank the u.s. institute for peace for providing me this opportunity to collect all of you here and i would like to thank you for taking out the time to be here.
i've been told that the basic focus of my talk should be on the current situation not only in pakistan but in the rest of the region in south asia across the border in afghanistan, to try to give you from the ground source development could have taken place over the last couple of months and couple of years. but before i give you the exact situation as it stands today, i think a certain perspective, certain background, certain historical background also needs to be directed in order to make sense of what i'm going to say. let me also apologize at the outset that i don't have any written notes so i will be
speaking off the cuff. if i go on a tangent somewhere, i hope that you will excuse me. i will try to keep my conversation and my talk and my interaction with you as focused as possible so that we are able to come to some kind of an understanding to the situation in my part of the world. i think all of you know that pakistan has been in the eye of the storm for the last many years, starting in the late 70s when the soviet union invaded afghanistan. pakistan had the option to remain neutral. it had the option to make other
countries in the region be quietly supportive of the soviet union or if have the option of standing up to the communist regime in the international community and making itself count. it was a long war, it was a very difficult for him very uneven because it was not a war between the two. it was between the super pack and the underdeveloped country being helped by other developing countries of the region and pakistan played a very collective role. i think most of you are probably aware of the fact that
there's only one proxy war the united states has one of the last century and that is the war in afghanistan. most of the proxy war has been fought not just by the united states but a whole lot of other countries if you look at the history of the last hundred years and probably even before that. that particular war is a testimony to the alliance, to the friendship, pakistan, other countries of the free world which have made us come out in a very difficult for. but it came at a price. once the flag went up, the international community, the united states included sing the
national anthem, pulled down the flag and left the region. pakistan was left to pick up the pieces of the backlash, the negativity of the war between the superpowers. it would lead to peace. it led to the fragmentation and turbulence, political, military, sectarian, tribal, and there was nobody absolutely nobody to try to make sense of the solution. pakistan received the major
trust of the backlash. we've are still reeling from the 3 million refugees when things went from bad to worse and 9/11 happened. i'm sure you must all be aware and if you're not, i would just like to restate the fact that pakistan, no pakistani was involved in the tragedy of 9/11. all of those who took part in this crime had no connection with pakistan in any way. and when 9/11 happened, pakistan itself there were two problems here and there. but there
wasn't a single instance of a terror, there wasn't a single case of terror related crime of suicide bombings of the situation as it exists today. again, pakistan was asked to take position. pakistan was then governed by a military. he decided to take a position which was in many ways controversial. to this day it remains controversial, but he took the position and decided to go in unilaterally, consciously and fully with the international community and the post-9/11 scenario.
it's been 13 years now from a totally peaceful country pakistan has been turned into a battle zone. we lost over 50,000 lives in the last 13 years. pakistan or any of its population had absolutely nothing to do with the event the tragic event of 9/11. but the backlash was totally taken by pakistan. several of pakistan had been appreciated and the sacrifices the country made, but difficult circumstances in which pakistan
come to found itself down and finds itself today even 13 years down the line, there's a greater understanding of pakistan's positioned, maybe all of the sacrifices would have been adverted but it's not that simple. in spite of the sacrifices, in spite of the turbulence and in spite of the many lives lost pakistan continues to be on the hit list of anybody who considers themselves of most analysts and critics who have focused on the war in afghanistan. they have generally refused to understand the situation and
totally focused on what they want to pakistan to be and how they wanted it to be achieved. a few weeks ago in this state of turbulence and violence and terrorism, we were hit by a singular incident which changed the mindset of every pakistani. this was the incident in which a pakistan time they climbed the walls of a public-school right into the heart of the provincial capital. and
blatantly, anybody and everybody who came across them. over 145 lives lost, most of them children were blatantly killed without remorse and one of the expert communication was picked up by agencies had something to the effect that one terrorist is calling up somebody in the headquarters and saying we have killed dozens of boys and girls and at once he responds kill all of them. so it was a method to the madness. it wasn't like it took place by accident. it was collateral damage but he consciously,
blatantly cut the target was the children of pakistan. mercifully this country has had only one 9/11. in the last 13 years, pakistan has faced many 9/11's, similar incidences. but this particular in which the target was children changed the mindset of those who both military operation is not the only way out of a crisis. so if i were to say as far as changing the mindset of the people of pakistan across the country and particularly changing the mindset of those special elements are still look upon the military option with a
lot of suspicion, then this particular incident, this tragic incident took place in the peshawar data contribute to that. it puts focus on the government and the political forces. the very next day the minister convened a meeting of all of the major political parties. after the meeting that was the civil and military leadership and the entire military was there in peshawar and the civilian leadership was there and it was decided that we have to now take the bull by the horns. yes we have been engaged in this exercise for the last 13 years. but it is a roller coaster ride. we would take a few steps ahead
and then for some reason, one or the other steps have to be taken back. i think if one single incident has proven to be a catalyst, i'm sorry for that term, but a catalyst to say as 9/11 did in this country, to somehow manage to be co- managed the people of pakistan, the civil society, the political forces, the civil military leadership, the media to come to one platform and work out an agenda to illuminate these criminals have these animals, then it's very clear that the peshawar incident provided that opportunity.
as a result of all the political parties getting together, let me also tell you that for these included a few political parties are basically in the background. there are few political parties also who have been consistently against any kind of military operation against the kurds have always emphasized on the need for dialogue. but after this incident, there was only one voice. there was only one message. there was only one agenda that we must avenge not only because they were our children but also because of the fact that the people we were trying to somehow bring into the mainstream who you were we were
trying to engage through dialogue, if that was the mindset that there are no limitations on what the code there are no limitations on the cruelty, on the animal instincts. the feeling that if they are the people that we are engaging i think that we've been wasting our time and they would only stand the language in which they were speaking. so the observation as we call it, the military occupation against them which was started sometime last year was activated and the national action plan was worked out as a 20-point national action plan. i had to chair the meeting of all of the political parties that worked together
over many hours and many days. in a seven-day timeline which was announced by the paymaster and in a seven-day timeline, to the mutual consensus involved the national action plan. i was very happy to see the agenda of the summit that we are having here in the united states. at least 11 or 12 points in the national action plan coincide with the agenda items of a summit that is taking place here in washington. so i'm very happy to exchange views in the international community and our friends with the united states of america and other partners to try and identify the best way forward. i think pakistan has never been so focused as it is now on the
job at hand. there's never been this kind of unity over the last 13 years. and there's never been this kind of unity of purpose which has emerged across to the length and the breadth of the country. but having said that, let me also say that it is no easy task all the troubles and all the problems that have been built up over the last 13 years that would take a lot of effort. more importantly, once the pressure on the terrorists has increased, once they have been fixed to the wall, once the headquarters are across the area and have been destroyed
they've gone across the border and they are trying to reorganize themselves. since the headquarters have been destroyed, now they are going for the worst option. they are going for the softest target. they are schools, places of worship, marketplaces. people congregate in large numbers during the daytime. the option is very difficult. we can't close down our schools. we can't close down our faces of worship. we can't close down our markets. we have to keep normal life going.
that is the most important aspect and most important obligation and responsibility of the government. and at the same time, we have to protect our country and the people against terrorists. what are foreigners? they are not a different color or seek a different language, they cannot be recognized on the street as people any different from the rest of us. they speak the same language they are the same color that they wear the same clothes. so how do you sift through the terrorists from the normal citizens? it a very difficult task. but as i said, for the first time, the environment has been created in which the government is moving forward on a very fast track traditionally and
historically there has been a divided and i will be open and candid about it in the last ten or 12 years. between the civil and the military on how this operation against terrorism should move forward. it originated basically because the decision taken by general musharraf was taken without consensus. that led to a lot of divisions not only did the civil between the civil and military that the military itself. we managed to go through the initial two years and as time went on, the system started to institutionalize and things began to get better. but as i said, it has been a roller coaster ride and these
last 13 years has been consistent in this respect. but giving you this historical background, i think that my idea was to advise you of the difficulties on the way forward. it is important now not to have what is wrong in the past. the important thing is to look towards the future. and it is an area we are now hopefully optimistic because there is security of purpose, clarity of vision you cannot expect to move forward. i would like to take the credit
upon this government over a year and a half ago, we tried to land some synergy to the system. we knew and were very conscious of the fact that the last 12 years or so and i am talking about before 2013, the one single largest sector but effective pakistan's fight against terrorism was the lack of unity. as a pastor in september of 2013 convened a meeting of the party conference and it was decided in the first instance to engage the militants in some kind of a dialogue with the condition that any dialogue would take place under the constitution of pakistan. that
process took about eight months. for the first time in the history of this kind of negotiation and dialogue those people came down from the hill and engaged in former dialogue with the civilian leadership. within a matter of the, we became conscious of the fact that we were operating on a two-point agenda. on the one hand they were talking to us and on the other, some segments of the terrorists were engaging in the same activities so as to put increasing pressure on the government to agree to their demands. and the bottom line came when they attacked one in karachi
and one of the premier airports. once that took place at both of the dialogue process. and after a lot of liberation event for the options of the military operation. let me tell you that the process was important for the military operation to take place. as i've said repeatedly, there were a lot of divisions in pakistan's critical hierarchy, the political parties, particularly the parties of the right of center about the decision to eliminate the military operation apart from so many problems one of the main issues that was constantly talked about was the fact that
this wasn't pakistan's were. this was where specifically the united states war which has been imposed on this region and the pakistan army is fighting the super war. so the option of the process on which all of the parties were united was to ensure that we play out the process. you are very honest and engaging in the other site and display of dialogue process. as i said it didn't last very long and then the decision to virgo or carry out the military operation was taken another meeting was convicted to be convened and because the
situation on the ground about political parties came on board. that's fighting the terrorists for the markets of pakistan. that is practically i think now it is a part of the policy and fighting the terrorism within pakistan.what are the areas of concern? as that today -- as of today. the positive thing is almost all
the headquarters of the terrorist organizations within pakistan, they were very close to the border, have been destroyed. over 2,000 terrorists have been killed in the operations. some of them very important figures in the terrorist network. there is a general support for the military operation across the country. the divide existed in the first two years between the civilian and military has been completely erased and i can now say as
somebody that is responsible. that's responsible for security that the civilian and military in pakistan are working closely. it's not only at the strategic level, not only at the operational level but also at the strategic level. and that gives a lot of space for the government to work out its strategy on a long-term basis. but we also have the negatives. one of the major negatives is our concern about the capacity of the administration across the border to handle the situation in the absence of the isaf forces and the foreign support which had been extended to this
country post 9/11. i do not see any restriction on numbers of extremist groups in afghanistan. that the strength of the coalition has gone down drastically. there were 140,000 isaff troops. now there will be just around 10,000. they will be restricted to the major towns and major places and their objective is going to be mainly defensive in nature. the crucial question which is going to face as ever the next
couple months is will the region be able to protect itself after the drop-down -- after the drawdown of the foreign forces. this is a question going to be answered in the next two or three months. it has been a very close coordination and i hope i'm not -- how much time do i have? the" nation and cooperation between pakistan and afghanistan -- the very close coordination and cooperation between pakistan and afghanistan. i think relations between afghanistan and pakistan have never been better and that is a very big positive for stability in the region. there have been a few incidents
on both sides of the border into and for the first time there's been no finger-pointing from either side. the agencies, security agencies have been working very closely. there've been visits at the highest level. our foreign minister has gone to afghanistan. our army chief has gone there and he was there yesterday, i think this is his third visit. the intelligence chiefs have been constantly in coordination and in close touch with each other. this is the relationship that is of vital importance to bring some kind of sanity in the region. but it's also important that the focus of the international community must remain as focused as before.
probably a greater need for the focus to be even more considered because there are certain areas in which the support of the international community is vital. i think meetings of the conferences like the one that we are having right now play an important role in keeping the coordination moving forward. my personal view is that interaction and coordination should take place at the regional level, at the local level. you can't generalize the problem in the country with the international community as far
as terrorism is concerned. you cannot correlate the extremists and south asia and in the middle east or in north africa. they have separate agendas. one thing i'm very concerned with is the tendency of the international community to generalize the extremist threats all over the world. there are certain common strands, but the regional aspect must be emphasized. the regional genesis for the regional origins. the regional agendas must be emphasized. only then you will be able to bring a solution in fighting the extremists in their own regions. lastly, there has been a lot of
concern shown all over by the recent development of the extremist threat in north africa and particularly in the middle east. there's also been a lot of concern about the extension of the threat to south asia. as of now i can say confidently that the isis that exists today for the time being it is totally a middle eastern phenomenon. it has absolutely no presence in pakistan and afghanistan. there has been a lot of media hype about this. there've been a lot of very responsible people talking about the threat of isis to that part of the world.
i was talking to our ambassador here in washington. the space in south asia, the terrorist space is almost totally occupied. the tehrik-i-taliban the ttp have their own agenda. i do not foresee them sharing the platform with other agendas for a group like isis. isis at the moment is totally focused on the middle east. the agenda is totally middle eastern. but in the future, unless and until we address the regional threats and address the international threats you cannot
rule out the possibility of the grand alliance later on. but to overreact to to the isis threat will not be the wise thing to do. but the area of concern for the country like pakistan is that the diversion of focus and interest by the international community to the emergent isis threat could lead to a lessening of the focus in south asia. that must not happen. i think 13 years of sacrifice, 13 years of blood and toil and effort has gone into reducing. the threats and south asia
afghanistan and the borders of pakistan. we need to further cement and further coordinate our efforts for the mopping up operation, so as to say. and we must not repeat the mistakes of the 1990's when the united states and the international community after the defeat of the soviet union left a huge vacuum in afghanistan and south asia enabling the militants to occupy the place. that vacuum under no condition must be left open. it is important for us to learn from our mistakes and it's important for us to learn from our history. it is important not to underestimate or overestimate the threat from the extremists and from the militants. i think it's not just pakistan.
internationally, i see a grand coalition and a grand consensus building up over the cruelty that are the militant groups. i think we need to work together hand-in-hand, brick and mortar right in the nitty-gritty we need to work together as member states of the international community, as allies and as part of the civilized world to try to eliminate the scourge of terrorism in all its form and all its aspect. pakistan has been playing that role over the last 13 years. we are now renewed in our commitment to fight not only within the borders of pakistan
but in the region. even beyond, we are fully committed and we are willing and hoping that the international community will work with countries like pakistan to make that happen. thank you for your attention. plus -- [applause] >> thank you very much for your remarks and also bringing out some of the challenges and opportunities that pakistan has as we move forward. we do have a few questions for you from the audience and a couple from myself and have a conversation before the end. let me begin if i may, we talked about peshawar being the 9/11 of pakistan and through the nation being moved.
i was there during that time. it was remarkable in some ways. we saw the nation being moved. but i think this is not the first time we've seen the pakistani nation moved because of these horrendous attacks by one or another group. what does pakistan do to keep the sentiment and support going without having major attacks take place that galvanize people for the time being and then we seem to forget? mr. khan: first and foremost, we must keep the momentum against the terrorists on a very high level. more and more success in the battlefield will motivate the people of pakistan. a second, the international community must keep its focus and support in the region, totally centered on the regional perspective.
there might be quite a few things which we might not do and might not come up with in the international community. i think it is very important that the international community must understand the problems that we face. so on that account, that perception must not go across that we are constantly being asked to do more. that impression must not go across that we are fighting somebody else's war. the impression must not go across that we take directions some from some other countries. if we are fighting it as we are fighting it today as pakistan's own threat and pakistan's war, we continue to get results on the battlefield. and we manage to evilolve the strategy for protecting our cities and schools and towns. in other words, strengthening
our internal security i think the momentum will not evaporate. >> do you feel that the pakistani state over the years has done enough to reactivate and convince its own public that this is pakistan's war? because there've also been times you talked about the civil-military disconnect. there were mixed messages for the people in some ways. mr. khan: actually not. i think that there have been feelings on so many counts. there have been feelings on the part of the state and the chain of events. it isn't being handled as it should be. starting from the day general musharraf took that position without consensus and without taking anyone on board. it has been an issue of missed opportunity. but having said that, let me go back to the remark you made. you said that there have been
other horrendous instances, no doubt. but there's never been this coming together of the pakistani nation and that is the region that i compared it with 9/11. so, the coming together of pakistan has happened for the first time in and that is the positive area that we need to work on. the feelings, i think we will address them once we had better ties in the country. >> let me also ask you, having worked with the international sector over the years i find pakistan has done fairly well coming up with policies and decisions on what to change and what to do. the implementation is less, so
we have the national internal security policy that you offered a year ago. how does the national action plan relate to that and why do we need an action plan if it was already a vision to do exactly what the state has to do now? mr. khan: you know normally most , of the time we act first and strategize later. we engage in this war against extremism for the last 13 years. almost everything has been handled by the military and a lot of it was off the cuff. knee-jerk. there were a lot of problems on who was responsible and accountable. so, for the first time when i took over and the government took office, i think one of the first imperatives for all of us was to have a strategy, to have a policy. so that is the reason we worked
almost six months, we worked with the military. we worked with the provinces. the provinces are a very important part in the whole organization. it was difficult. it was easier working with the military. it was difficult working with my colleagues in the provinces. we worked with a whole lot of experts, with the media, the national security experts, and it took us almost seven or eight months to come up with a policy. part of it was implemented. i could sit and discuss the internal security policy paper with you for hours. it was not announced for the simple reason that we cut corners. it would have taken anything upwards of a year to a year and
a half to put in place. we, as a short-term measure, got several armed forces and forces from the military. the joint intelligence directorate, before we announced it pakistanis were jolted by the revelation that we have 33 intelligence agencies working in pakistan. i mean, a country engaged in the war against extremism, for whom intelligence agencies rule and work is of paramount importance. you'll be surprised to know that even at the very high level we were not aware of the total number of agencies. most of these agencies were working in competition with each other. they were never sharing
information. i can say now there has been a sea change. i don't say that in total confirmation but a sea change from june 2013. there's a lot of intelligence sharing, there's a lot of close coordination. if a certain agency is working in a certain area and the lead moves on to another where another agency is working, without a moment's hesitation they pass on the information and let other agencies takeover. i can give you more than a few incidents in this regard. so a joint intelligence directorate, which was a dream a few years ago, is operationally working. yes, most of it has been handled by the military but it is working under the ministry so it is working under the intelligence, under the civilian leadership. a whole lot of other things. national internal security
policy was the organizational and administrative and strategic policy paper that we announced over a year ago. national election plan is the proactive part. some of it is part of the internal security policy that would've followed anyways, and some of it, i think was needed , given the precarious situation of pakistan was facing. >> thank you. let me sort of just ask one more thing on the coordination part since you mentioned it. we at usip published a book lash t year on pakistan's counterterrorism challenge getting pakistan experts. one thing that came out across the whole book, there's a common thread was nacta.
if i may nacta's history is not pretty. having become a political football from one place to another. but we at least conclude is that that has to be the apex body that takes the role of of pakistan's counterterrorism task. where do you see it going from there? is is a paradigm shift as we're seeing or are we still deciding what its role is going to be? mr. kong it's just a start. : i think there is too much invested interest, too much competition. agencies, between departments, so for them to become a sea change, basically assume the role that it was designed to play, i think it will take a bit of time. but a start has definitely been made. the ministry of the interior is playing a proactive role to try and build the framework in which
nacta can work as a totally independent body. it will take a bit of time. just to make a reference to what happened in the united states, it took upwards of a year if not two years before the homeland security pulled itself together. for a country like pakistan in which systems are not as from -- not as firm and strong as in the u.s., it will take time. but i think everyone is convinced that nacta has a role. every organization needs to see the space that nacta has to play in the coordinating and proactive role. which i think is important if we are to be successful in the fight against sectarianism. >> let me ask one more question and then we have a few to go through from the audience, which , as we talk about peshawar and
tpp as being the perpetrators. we talked about afghanistan and the safe havens. there's a whole slew of the organization that we have to look at women look at terrorism in pakistan. just this when we had another major attack, a sectarian attack. there are reports active in balochistan and those are complicating the problem in some ways. how does your national action plan and how does the planning address southern punjab? this is the hotbed, this is a hotbed. and wanted to record what really exists there and what kind of threat it poses.
so is the plan confident to deal with it or is the pakistani state capacity stretched in a way that it has been? this will take time. one of the offshoots of the jihad was that these elements wanted to join the jihad and use that as a bulwark, a platform to attack groups within pakistan. so it is been a problem now for over 30 years. it is difficult because it is insular. we were just talking about the rawalpindi incident, and another one, peshawar. the difficulty is, they are living amongst you.
it is very, very difficult for intelligence to pick up their communication or any kind of any other warning. they normally interact through word of mouth, direct communication. so it is very difficult. as i said in my initial remarks, you can't close down your religious places. you have to keep life going. so it is a difficult process. how, what is the strategy and a national action plan? use the consensus built up on the fight against extremism, and use the religious elements amongst the community to try and work out the lowest common denominator of understanding, of tolerance between various sectarian groups. this is not just hogwash. this is not just talk.
i think within the few weeks we first were able to do that. i chaired, in fact i convened a meeting of all the religious segments of society, and we were able to work it out and agreement on madrassa reform. that has never happened in the history of pakistan. that included auditing of funds. that included the registration. that included, you know, transparency of curriculum. and a whole lot of other things. so we need to work from the inside to address the sectarian problem. there is no, there is no outside sector or force which can resolve the sectarian problem in pakistan. we are trying to work from the inside, and hopefully over the next few weeks you will see improvement in this regard. but sectarian attacks which are
taking place right now, they are terrorist related. a group of officially part of the tpp taliban in pakistan. this is being targeted, a normal sectarian divide in pakistan. this is terrorist related. most of the activity has been limited by the military operation, so they are using the sectarian divide to hit softer targets. >> what do you make the of some of the reports which say that say lashkar-e-jangvi is operating in baluchistan?
targeting some of the nationalist movements. mr. khan: they cross over into baluchistan. it is not just lashkar-e-jangvi it is major sections of the tehrik-e-taliban who have moved over. there have been over 500 operations to contain their violence. unfortunately, that progress has never been identified and not even appreciated. because for so many reasons we don't always make it public. so we are focused, the pakistani government is focused, the military is focused on these developments in afghanistan, the
transformation that is taking place. the migration of terrorists into vast areas of logistic -- of baluchistan. but, i think generally speaking , things are under control. >> there are two or three questions at least, and i was sort of lump them together about the organization and the recent move to ban more organizations. the concerns expressed here are, one, there's been history of banned organizations using new names and coming up into what they were doing in the past. there's also specific concerns about groups that seem to be anti-indian, lashkar-e-taiba and others. we hear that the pakistanis did not close as we're going after everybody. and yet there seems to be some confusion about who is being banned. there's a delay. is there a delay? what is the policy now on banning organizations and on ensuring that it is not only going to result in a name change and the operations continue? >> i'm almost embarrassed to give you feedback on this,